City Of Spokane Joins Lawsuit Against Manufacturers of PFAS Contaminants

Mayor says move helps hold chemical manufacturers accountable

SPOKANE, WA, April 16, 2024 – The City of Spokane is taking action as part of its commitment to protect the community’s drinking water by joining a lawsuit against manufacturers responsible for PFOS/PFOA contamination.

On April 12, the City filed a complaint as part of a larger lawsuit over these harmful chemicals. The complaint lists 11 causes of action, including product liability and negligence against 3M, DuPont and others. 

PFAS are man-made toxic chemicals that bioaccumulate when released into the environment. They have been used for decades in certain aqueous film forming foam, industrial processes, and thousands of common household and commercial products. Exposure to certain PFAS have been associated with several negative health outcomes in both humans and animals.

PFAS have impacted surface water and groundwater throughout the country resulting in hundreds of similar suits brought forward by water providers, and mostly against the same defendants, in an ongoing Multidistrict Litigation supervised by a federal judge in South Carolina.

In 2023, the City of Spokane began testing for forever chemicals under new rules adopted by Washington state in 2022. There have been low-level detections of these chemicals at two well locations -- the Ray Street Well near Ray and 23rd Ave and Grace Well at the City’s Water Department on North Foothills. Although testing levels were below state limits, a test from one production well exceeded the new federal standards that were finalized last week.

“Protecting the health and safety of Spokane’s residents is our top priority. By taking legal action against these manufacturers, we are holding accountable those responsible for polluting our drinking water,” Mayor Lisa Brown said.

“The people of Spokane deserve nothing less than access to safe and reliable drinking water, and we will continue to work tirelessly on their behalf. This lawsuit is another way the City is working to ensure clean and safe water for Spokane customers now and in the future,” Director ofPublic Works Marlene Feist said.

Following previous success against Monsanto, Spokane hopes for similar results, potentially securing funds from settlement agreements to reinvest in the City’s health and safety. 

“The manufacturers and sellers of PFAS containing products – 3M, DuPont, and other defendants – knew that these products would likely pollute the water, yet they failed to take reasonable and available steps to avoid the use of PFAS in products and failed to provide warnings that using these products as directed could result in groundwater contamination" said Ken Sansone, senior partner at SL Environmental Law Group, the law firm representing the City of Spokane on this matter. “We are honored to support the City of Spokane in asserting its rights to ensure the quality and availability of water resources to its citizens. It is the corporations whose products are responsible for contaminating the water that should shoulder the clean-up costs.”


About the City of Spokane

The City of Spokane, home to more than 229,000 people, is located in the heart of the Inland Northwest. Our 2,000 employees strive to deliver efficient and effective services that facilitate economic opportunity and enhance the quality of life for all our residents. For more information, visit and follow us @spokanecity on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 


About SL Environmental Law Group P.C.

SL Environmental Law Group focuses exclusively on water contamination litigation on behalf of city and state governments, public and private water utilities, and other well owners. SL Environmental Law Group has delivered over $1.2 billion from corporate polluters to their clients. For more information visit  

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